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UV lamps are gaining widespread use in nail salons


Results are a long lasting, high gloss manicure

By Kerry Pianoforte • Associate Editor

The use of UV lamps in nail salons has gained widespread use recently. The process is relatively simple; a gel that contains a photoinitiator is applied to the fingernail and is cured under a UV lamp.

When the photoinitiator is exposed to the proper UV light wavelength and intensity, it gives off a particle called a free radical. The free radical will initiate a polymerization reaction with the resins in the gel system.

The results are a long lasting, high gloss manicure. Issues concerning safety and proper equipment usage have been raised as this process continues to gain in popularity.

To offer insights into this growing field, RadTech has assembled a special end user session, UV Curing for Finger Nails, which will be held today at 1:00-3:00 pm.

Tom Barclift, director, sales and marketing, Esstech, Inc., is one of the featured presenters.

“I will be discussing the primary ingredients commonly used in nail enhancements including, base resins, adhesion promoters, crosslinkers and rheological modifiers,” said Mr. Barclift. “It is our hope that attendees will learn about the variety of chemicals that are used to formulate a nail gel and the role that each one plays.”

Doug Schoon, Schoon Scientific, Nail Manufacturers Council co-chair, will present the session keynote talk, “Do UV Nail Lamps Emit Unsafe Levels of Ultraviolet Light?”

Mr. Barclift will follow with his talk, “Chemistry and Formulation of UV-Curable Nail Enhancements.” 

Mr. Barclift will be followed by John C. Dowdy and Robert M. Sayre, Rapid Precision Testing Laboratories, who will conclude with their talk on “Photobiological Safety Evaluation of Optical Emissions From UV Fingernail Polish Curing Lamps.”